Boys Cross Country: Plainfield South’s Lathrop takes third at sectional
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media November 2, 2013 11:06PM
Updated: December 4, 2013 6:53AM
Downers Grove North teammates Zack Smith and Ryan Clevenger finished 1-2, Hinsdale Central teamed up to win the meet championship and Plainfield South’s Dan Lathrop ran with the leaders to the end.
The Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional displayed a talent-rich field Saturday at Katherine Legge Park, where the top five teams in the 18-school meet advanced to next Saturday’s state final in Peoria.
Teams moving on to Detweiller Park are Hinsdale Central (52), Downers Grove North (78), Lyons (116), Sandburg (120) and Neuqua Valley (130).
Smith, a senior, won the individual title in 14 minutes, 36.66 seconds, the top 3A sectional time. Clevenger, a junior, was a close runner-up in 14:37.16.
“It went out pretty conservatively,’’ said Smith, eighth in last year’s state meet. “Me and Ryan were able to make a move just past the 2-mile. We were able to drop them there and go 1-2. It was awesome.’’
“It was just pure excitement and enjoyment, realizing that I held up my promise,’’ Clevenger said of coming to the finish.
There was plenty of excitement for team champ Hinsdale Central. The Red Devils’ top five runners were Billy Magnesen (4th, 14:43.14), Blake Evertsen (8th, 14:54.98), Kevin Huang (11th, 15:00.98), Chris Brenk (14th, 15:07.62) and Emmett Scully (15th, 15:08.12).
“It hasn’t happened since 1955 for our team,’’ Magnesen said of Central’s sectional title. “It’s cool for a day, but in the end it’s not our goal this season.’’
Southwest Prairie Conference and Plainfield South Regional champ Lathrop finished third in a strong 14:38.80.
“I felt pretty good,’’ said Lathrop, the top individual not on a qualifying team. “We went out fast it seemed like through the first 800. Into the mile, it was me and Ryan pushing back and forth.
“At the end, they pushed at the end of the hill in back. I tried to go with them and just didn’t have it today. There’s another chance to run well next week.’’
Sandburg was coming off victories at the SouthWest Suburban Blue meet and the Marist Regional. The Eagles’ top five Saturday were Tom Brennan (12th, 15:02.54), Will Becker (17th, 15:08.77), Greg Burzinski (27th, 15:14.80), Harry Becker (30th, 15:19.59) and Sean Torpy (34th, 15:29.47).
“We wanted better,’’ Becker said. “We knew there was a lot of tough teams here. We wanted to work more as a pack. We got caught out in back. We lost too much contact with the top guys too early. We’ll be ready to go for state.’’
“We had a couple guys run below average,’’ Sandburg coach John O’Malley said. “Sean is coming off a sickness. He’s normally our one or two guy.’’
Besides Lathrop, the other individual qualifiers for the state meet were Shepard’s Josh Maier (6th, 14:49.82), Oswego’s Peter Johnsrud (7th, 14:54.01), Lockport’s Will Giroux (10th, 15:00.68), Plainfield South’s Misael Tobias (16th, 15:08.54) and Plainfield East’s Sergio Llanes (22nd, 15:10.30) and Joseph Suarez (23rd, 15:10.50).